Istambay sa Mindanao

Personal blog of MindaNews' Walter I. Balane. Visit for more news, views and information on Mindanao.

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Location: Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, Mindanao, Philippines

I'm Walter Balane. I am a journalist based in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, Philippines. I initiated the group called Atong Press ( for press freedom and responsibility and media education in Bukidnon.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Sound Trip: Waway's music: Local tribe's experiences, universal themes

Waway Saway's 6th Album is out
Originally uploaded by waltzib.

Congratulations to Talaandig artist and international performer Waway Saway in the release of his 6th CD album: PUNLA: Pangarap, Pantasya, Panaginip (Sowing Hopes, Fantasies & Dreams).

He is indeed a real talent that could make any one from Bukidnon proud. Ma. Easterluna S. Canoy reports special to MindaNews about this new album here.

The music and songs of Waway, especially those about his personal and his tribe’s experiences are not only good to hear but are also educational pieces about indigenous peoples and their struggles.

I take note of this song most especially:

“Sinla sinla bayangbang/Bayangbangan ta gabun/Bul-ug di ka suminla/Hadi day imu suhulan budi Dalapakan”

(This song, sung by kids on their way to the river for their morning bath, asks the sun to shine upon all. This moment is memorable to the children as they enjoy bathing in clear rivers no matter if one slips on stones. But now, the rivers are polluted and this has become a lamentation on the ill effects of modernization to their communities.)

I came face to face with the theme of this song when I covered a protest action led by Waway’s kin in Sungko, Lantapan, Bukidnon in 2003. Elder brother Datu Vic Saway led his tribe protesting the use of the water resources within the ancestral domain of the Talaandig at the foot of Mt. Kitanglad.

Datu Vic lamented the abuse of governance by the local government of Lantapan and the disrespect of fruit plantations operating in Lantapan of the free and prior informed consent (FPIC) requirement.

The issue there, though, did not just stop in the breach of the FPIC, which has become a very political concern in Bukidnon since the enactment of the IPRA law or Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997. IPRA supposedly was a landmark legislation on social justice and human rights but that experience put the Talaandigs in a seemingly defenseless situation. At the time the law was never harmonized with existing legislation affecting IPs like NIPAS (National Integrated Protected Areas System) act and even the Local Government Code of 1991!

It was really an environmental, political, economic and socio-cultural issue because the water resources within the ancestral domain of the Talaandig forms a big part of their livelihood, culture, territory, concept of identity, and even indigenous governance.

Waway’s music, which appeals to popular and even principled audiences, has become a very good way to articulate these issues and raise consciousness, among other things, about the same in a world that is fast-changing. From his and his people's experiences, the music weaves through universal themes, beyond their ancestral domain in Mt. Kitanglad.

Canoy reports that the music of the Punla CD "is freshly modern yet anchored on its cultural molding." Let's see how different or the same is this CD from the first five released.

(Watch out: Excerpts from a May 2006 interview with Talaandig leader Datu Migketay Saway for some views on issues and concerns of indigenous peoples and why Bukidnon should not be divided.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi! are you from mindanao? do u feature local musicians esp. who are into indigenous music? im interested into this kind of music

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will not agree on it. I assume precise post. Especially the title attracted me to review the sound story.

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amiable fill someone in on and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you for your information.

6:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hai sir walter.! can you give me full lyrics of "sinla sinla". i badly need it.. i researched through the net but it led me into vague result .. i dont have any idea how to serch for it but to ask it from you..tnx ahead.

2:10 PM  

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